All three distribution utilities (DU) in Bohol have started to draw power from the Visayas grid after the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) completed its Emergency Response System (ERS) that allowed the province to get supply from its permanent source of power in Leyte.
According to BLCI spokesperson Sheryl Paga, they have fully stopped drawing power from the more expensive Bohol Diesel Power Plant (BDPP) in Tagbilaran City and the Power Barge (PB) 104 in Ubay starting Wednesday night.
“From February 9, pagsulod sa power gikan sa Leyte to Bohol, naka supply na ta sa atong consumers using the Leyte power supply. Wala na ta sa BDPP and power barge kay gigamit ra man to as emergency supply,” said Paga.
BOHECO I spokesperson Algerico Siga and BOHECO II manager Eugen Tan also confirmed that they have also started to draw power from Leyte.
Paga added that consumers can expect “normal” power rates to reflect in their bills in the forthcoming months as the DUs start to get power from Leyte.
The DUs drew power from the BDPP and PB 104 from January 3, 2022 to February 9, 2022 and payments for these will reflect in bills issued until April.
Paga said that the normal rate of P9 to P11 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) will reflect in consumers’ bills by May, down from the expected “P17-P19” per kWh in bills that cover the duration in which the DU sourced power from the BDPP and PB 104.
According to BOHECO II manager Eugene Tan, bills issued in April will already reflect lower rates.
He said that BOHECO II’s rates are expected to drop back down to P10 or P11 from an estimated P18 per kWh after the billing period that covers the span in which the BDPP and PB 104 were used.
“March billing [period] mo balik nana ang lower [rate]. Kanang March billing kobrahon na sa Abril,” Tan said.
For its part, the NGCP has assured that their temporary bypass line, which replaced two towers toppled by Typhoon “Odette,” can transmit enough supply from Leyte to meet Bohol’s power demand.
However, the reconnected Leyte-Bohol link does not mean that power has been restored in the entire province.
The DUs still have ongoing repairs on their typhoon-damaged facilities.
Paga said BLCI is targeting to complete their repairs on or before the end of February.
Some 22 percent of the power distributor’s entire network of facilities are still undergoing repairs.
“As to full energization atoang commitement ana didto sa Department of Energy will be until February 28, 2022,” said Paga.
“Dili pa ta 100 percent na restored, naa pa tay lines, and sectional lines na still subject for repairs which is mao nay karon gitrabaho,” she added.
According to Siga, BOHECO I will be able to full restore its facilities by April 15.
“Kadtong mga nag followup og naghisgot kung kanusa makabalik, siguro kabahin na sila sa mga area na wala pa nato mahuman og repair sa atong linya,” said Siga.
Siga explained that most of those who have yet to have their power restored are located in areas that are far from the highways or the power distributor’s backbone lines.
“Mga sudlonan kasagaan ang wala pay. Kay unahaon man gyud nato kanang naa sa mga highways sa diha man gikan atong supply,” said Siga.
Meanwhile, Tan said that BOHECO II has so far only energized 38.6 of its franchise area as it continued repairs of storm-hit facilities.
The DUs also reminded the public who have been isolated from the grid due to damages in their personal connection that it is their responsibility to oversee the repairs.
Paga explained that consumers with damaged personal connections need to repair these first to be reconnected to the grid.
“Amo gyung gi-encourage ang mga consumers na once ma-advise na sila sa BLCI na ilaha ng trabahuon kana na particular activity sa consumer’s end, mo cooperate sila kay para mabalikan sila og pasiga,” said Paga.